simple, everyday sourdough


cityhippyfarmgirl cityhippyfarmgirl

I’m often asked for a basic sourdough recipe and for some reason I have never done a post that is just simply that. A simple, every day sourdough bread recipe.

Bit of an over sight really as so much of this blog is designated to bread. After three years, I still find making sourdough an incredibly enjoyable experience.

I like to make it, I like to eat it and I like seeing other people start on their own sourdough journey. The contagious excitement of when a first bubble appears of a newly made starter. The shared joy of an exceptionally tasty freshly baked loaf. The jump up and down happy feeling of a new mixer arriving. The relief and happiness of hearing that one of your recipes have been used and loved and now in turn as been passed on to someone else.

I tell you, it’s true bread nerd stuff, but I love it, I really do.

For anyone that has vaguely considered making their own bread and they would like to give sourdough a crack, this recipe might be helpful to start off with.


If you don’t have a starter here is post on how to make one.

Or if sourdough seems far too daunting at the moment and you would really just rather try making some regular bread, this post here.

Basic Sourdough Bread

400g starter (100% hydration, refreshed and bubbling)

750g flour

500mls water (approx- depends on your starter and flour)

2 tsp salt (or to taste)

Mix your starter, flour and water together either in a mixer or in a bowl with a spoon. Mixing for about 6 minutes. The dough will be kind of rough and shaggy.

Now leave it. Go find something else to do for about 40 minutes. (Bread magic is beginning…or autolysing but bread magic sounds better. You are developing the gluten here.)

Add your salt and mix again for about another 6 minutes or if by hand until you get a smooth dough.

Put it back in the bowl and leave it for about an hour.


Now you need to do a three way fold. It will take about twenty seconds, (and you are not kneading.) Dough out on to the bench. Flatten a little with your finger tips and fold a third into the middle, then the other third. Swing it round 90 degrees and three way fold the other way.

Back in the bowl for another hour or so, another three way fold, and then back into the bowl again for another hour or so.


Divide your dough up and shape it. Laying it on lined trays, banetton baskets or tins, cover it with a plastic bag and into the fridge for an over night nap (around 12 hours.) Bring it back to room temperature. (Depends on the household temperature 1-4 hours generally.)

Bake at 230C with steam, (I use a cheap spray bottle of water inserted in to a crack of the oven door when first putting the loaves in.)

Bread is baked when tapped and sounds hollow. Allow to cool on a wire rack.


Now there 100 types of different ways to make sourdough and each baker will always have there own little tricks and ways to do things. Sourdough is an amazingly versatile beast, that can work in far more ways than regular commercial yeast made bread. There is never a right way or wrong way in my mind. If the end result is an edible loaf of bread that people are enjoying eating, well your way works. Taste buds and preferences can always be catered for as it’s your bread and you can do what you want. As long as you start off with three keys things- flour, water and salt- combine that with time, a little love and you’re in business…the sourdough world awaits.

Happy baking.


99 thoughts on “simple, everyday sourdough

  1. Yumm, I agree with Sarah, your loaves are so beautiful Brydie! I have just revived my sourdough starter from a summer spent in the freezer..with positive results. One thing I think helped was tossing some dried fruit (apple, date..) into the starter while refreshing it in the early stages.

    I’ve been experimenting with quantities and trying to find a good amount that will make two good sized loaves in the one baking the moment it’s up to 1.1kg of flour to 400g of starter and 500ml-ish water. Good size loaves but the dough will barely fit in my mixing bowl anymore! Any advice?


  2. Amazing post Brydie. You’re such a talented baker. I’ve started a new batch of starter now. I attempted to ‘feed’ the failing one regularly as we discussed via email but it actually went moldy after a few days. I had no idea that starter could go moldy, especially as I was having trouble keeping it at room temperature. So… very, very sadly, I had to throw it away. No bubbles in the new batch yet. If this doesn’t work I am going to abandon the sourdough project until Spring and Summer return. Sorry to have wasted some of your sourdough starter. I appreciate your generosity so much xx


  3. your loaves look absolutely beautiful!
    with a baby in the house i’ve resorted to making over night no knead bread, the sort you bake in a lidded cast iron pot. i’m thinking of starting a new sourdough starter though (mine died through neglect as i went off sourdough when pregnant) cause the sourdough craving is back. have you ever tried an no knead, over night or otherwise ‘easy’ sourdough?
    any advice you have would be very eagerly received!


      • I would love to know how it goes! I bake a rye/wheat sourdough using the cast iron pot, and it turns out tasting fantastic….but the loaf doesn’t rise alot, so it’s not sandwhich worthy (although still delicious!). I’m guessing I just to need to increase the amount I’m preparing?…


  4. Your loaves are so perfect and wonderful looking. How lovely for your family to be surrounded by freshly baking bread. It’s great that after three years you are still so enthusiastic about baking your own bread xx


  5. What fantastic loaves…I have a starter that I have to pfaff about doing all kinds of weird things in the fridge with etc and your bread looks so simple compared to mine…I am going to give it a go using Audrey. Wish me luck 🙂


      • No, I mean the recipe involves keeping the dough in a bucket in the fridge and tipping it into a pan etc. It’s a big pain and I have never been happy with it. I want to make REAL bread like yours so I am going to forgedaboud my recipe and adopt yours 🙂


  6. Does the same recipe work for gluten free flour? I have a mate who can’t tolerate gluten so I like to find things that I can make for her and then if she likes them give her the recipes. she’s not a cook but she is an eater!!


    • Hmmm, not sure Lorelle. I’ve never tried using gluten free flour….actually just having a quick net search now and it does seem you can play with the flours. I have made a very low in gluten loaf, but still not 100% gluten free.


  7. Beautiful bread Brydie! I love the bread nerd stuff too. It is always good to get back to a basic recipe when you are continually experimenting with different bread variations…that is what I find anyway. Happy baking 🙂


  8. I have yet to discover how “simple” and “sourdough” go together. Not one to give up easily I actually resurrected my starter which had been sitting in the fridge for about 6 months, last week. I poured off the dark liquid, it smelled alright so fed it with 1 cup organic rye and 1 cup tepid water and 1 cup starter for 7 days. It was doubling in size so I bit the bullet and made my loaf but I did use the breadmaker, simply because I have nowhere in the house, being winter, that is warm enough for bread to rise and I dont want to use my oven when I’m not indoors. Long story short I made another house brick 😦 It wont get wasted as I will eat at least half of it, give some to the chooks and make breadcrumbs with the rest. The 1 cup leftover starter is back in the fridge waiting for me to go again. My husband wont eat it (worried about his teeth) 🙂 so I only want to make one loaf at a time. You may hear from me again as I am now going to try your directions as above. Also wondering whether I should just start again from scratch? Joy


    • Joy I’m intrigued by your starter. Are there bubbles? Small, big? What does it smell like? Yeasty, pleasant, acidic, like an old sock, vomit, acetone?
      Did you do all the work in the bread maker or just the mixing and proving and then baked it on a tray?


      • Hi Brydie, The starter smelt pleasant and a bit yeasty, definitely not bad or I would have diced it all. I now have half a cup of starter I have retrieved from the fridge left over from the last loaf a week ago, and it already has a little black liquid on top which I’ll throw away. I will follow your instructions until I get lots of bubbles. I was just going by the fact that it doubled in size and thought that was a sign of readiness and I also thought 6 days would have been plenty of time to refresh it. I used my breadmaker for the whole job but I hadn’t thought about just using it to prove and then into the oven. Thank you for your advice, I will get there in the end. Following your advice to other people has been very informative too. Joy


      • Generally the longer you leave the starter, the longer it takes to come back Joy. Scoop all that black stuff off and just use the bottom part, change bowls and give it some food. I’d ditch the bread maker at this stage just purely so you can see what is going on at every stage of the bread process. Get some loaves going that you enjoy eating and then you could go back to it…saying that, you’d still have to take it at the last stage as from memory it only gives an hour or so for the final prove. If it’s cold, that’s simply not enough time for things to get cracking for sourdough…bricks 🙂
        Keep going Joy, you’ll get there.


      • Hello again Brydie

        Mastering the art of making sourdough bread seems to be something that many people are trying to do, myself included. Some people seem to get it right straight off whilst others like me have been struggling for years and I cannot understand why it doesn’t go easily for me. I have made all my own bread for 15 years or more, I make yogurt & cheese regularly and occasionally kefir, so I am familiar with working with yeast and bacteria. Consequently, I find this blog very interesting with all the comments and advice from you Brydie, (the author). It would seem that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all method that will work with everyone, perhaps because of different starters or different flours – wholemeal, all white or mixes of both.

        I have a very good book on bread called Bread Matters by Andrew Whitley, a baker by trade with his own artisan bakery in England. Amongst other things he give classes on bread making and most of his book and classes is on sourdough bread. It is a very good book with scientific explanations of the chemical processes that take place though all the recipes are in grams

        He recommends using ALL your starter in your batch of bread and then saving a bit of the dough to become the starter for future batches. The reason is, he says, that by repeatedly ‘feeding’ your starter it could get too acidic and some of the yeasts will die whilst others will go into a dormant state as will the bacteria. By saving a bit of dough to become the starter for future batches, the likelihood of excessive acidity build-up is minimized.

        He also says that if your starter was viable when you last used it and you keep it in the fridge, it should keep for weeks and revive easily. He has a bucket of old rye sourdough in the fridge many months old and all he does is stir in the grey-brown liquid on top and scoop out about ¼ cup to which he adds 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of warm water. He says by the next day this is a bubbling pleasant smelling refreshed starter.

        His recipes have an intermediate stage between starter and finished dough that he calls the production starter. To make his finished dough he makes a separate dough using only flour and water that he kneads well until he has good gluten development. Then he works his production starter into this in order to add the yeast to make it rise. As I have said before, I have ‘cheated’ and added regular yeast to this separate dough and blended the two when the yeast was working well.

        I wish we could add photos to our comments to give you and readers a better idea of the results of our efforts and thus perhaps get more accurate advice. Not many bloggers will blog about their failures but in a discussion such as this, one picture might be worth a thousand words.



      • David please feel free to email any pics you might have and I can always add it in to your comments (email address on the side bar.) I totally agree, a picture can be worth a thousand words.

        I also just wanted to say again, that there are hundreds and hundreds of bread making methods to had. It’s just a matter of finding the right one for you. If one method isn’t working, try another, and if that doesn’t work maybe another. Trial and error is how I’ve got to making my bread, and it’s still a constantly evolving thing. What I do now, I’m sure will be different to what I’m doing in another 5 years time. The bread making process is just a matter of making it work for you, if it’s too much of a pain…well life is too short.

        sourdough baker is also a wealth of (different again!) info. He uses a thick dough like starter.


    • Yes I agree with Brydie, Joy – you really can’t do sourdough in a breadmaker. A sourdough needs much longer rising times if you want to avoid making bricks! 🙂


  9. I just realised that you don’t mention leaving the dough to rise in a warm place? Also I am not sure what 100% hydration means. Does it mean lots of bubbles? Joy


    • 100% hydration is a starter fed at 50mls water to 50g flour. Bubbles is good and happy 🙂
      And yes, sorry the warmer the spot to rise the quicker it will be. Our winter and things are a lot slower, I usually just leave it on a kitchen bench top or sometimes chase the sun around as well.


  10. this is timely as I am thinking I need to start getting into sourdough. My questions from a complete novice are what does it means when 100% hydration – does that mean when you haven’t added any flour to the starter? And ballpark time for baking a loaf – 30 min? 60 min? I love all your sourdough encouragement and am sure it will help me get there.


    • 100% hydration is a starter fed at 50g flour to 50mls water. I’ll do another post soon on bulking the starter up before you bake with it, and hopefully that will make more sense too.
      Baking time, depends on your oven, how chewy you want your crust, and how big your loaf is (or rolls.) I generally do 20 minutes at 230C with lots of steam and then switch oven shelves for a further 10 minutes BUT it really does depend on your oven.


      • Hi there! I just successfully made one of these! Woohoo! Very amazed how well it turned out. I found it took about 40 minutes though (but I do like quite a crust). Was wondering what your thoughts are on a fan oven. I never know whether to use it or not? (As I understand it also changes the temp?)

        Also, you mentioned switching shelves. Does this mean you move it up or down, and why? Would love to hear your thoughts, cheers 🙂


      • Yay! Lu that’s awesome. Well done!
        Ovens vary so much, from gas to electric and to add to it fan. It just depends on what you use. Any of my recipes and there times/ temps are used as a guide- just do what works for you. My oven doesn’t have fan so I can’t really give any thoughts on it.
        Switching shelves, again for my oven it’s hotter up top, so I switch them around to get that golden colour happening. But you don’t have to 🙂
        Happy baking!


  11. Brydie, I have melded your recipe with Celia’s and used my bread maker to bake bread in, It is too cold now for me to do the whole leave it on the bench thing 🙂


  12. Mine always looks like something the cat dragged in — I’d love to know your secret to the shaping and getting it from the banneton to the oven.


    • Rose if I use a banneton I tip it out directly on to the tray I’m baking it on or if I have shaped it myself then I let it prove on the tray from the beginning and then bake it. Does that help??

      (The banneton is really well floured (and seasoned over time) and just gently tipped out too.)


  13. You make it seem so easy and I have to admit yours looks delicious. However I am so frustrated with sourdough myself that I am almost ready to give it up. The starter bubbles nicely, but not big bubbles like in your photo, and then the dough takes hours and hours to rise. Even then it won’t rise above the top of the tin but just sits there flat across the top. So I bake it anyway and though it is aerated it isn’t especially nice. Lately I have been cheating….. I have made my sourdough dough and at the same time made a regular dough with regular yeast. After the first rising of each independently I knead the two together and put the blended batch in the bread tins for the second rising. This seems to make a mild tasting sourdough bread but it rises well and is very well aerated. I learnt recently that acid stops the gluten developing which is probably why sourdough bread can be so brick-like. Sourdough dough is also VERY sticky and hard to manage. I added up the time it takes to follow your recipe and it comes out at about 18 hours. Do you think I could make my sourdough dough and leave it over night, then in the morning make the regular dough with ‘real’ yeast and when that has risen well, blend the two together?

    I often wonder whether all the fussing to make sourdough bread is worth it. However, I recently asked at my local supermarket in-store bakery what the ingredients were in their sourdough bread and when I saw the list of artificial things and chemicals I decided that if I wanted sourdough bread I would have to make it myself.

    David in Canada


    • So many things come to mind reading your comment David… It’s tricky to say without seeing things but I’ll take a stab…
      Sourdough is stickier than using regular yeasted dough but it shouldn’t be unmanageable. Trying really leaving that autolyse period between mixing and adding the salt for a good while (40mins). This is where the gluten is developing. Second thing, make it a stiffer dough. I tend to find them just easier to work with, (the wet ones just frustrate me for their messiness.)
      What hydration do you keep your starter at (approx) if it’s more liquidy, it’s going to have smaller bubbles and not like my top shot. Also if it’s not particularly strong, it won’t have the bigger bubbles. How many times would you refresh your starter before using it? (I’ll do a post on that subject soon.) Also what does it smell like?

      For your blended doughs, I wouldn’t bother doing too separate doughs. Just make the dough up together. Starter for the taste, dried yeast for the convenience and fastness. Something like this post. You can ditch the olive oil and just add a little more water and ditch the bran and add 1/2 cup more flour…

      See if that helps, if not please ask again. I don’t want to see you give up on sourdough! 🙂


      • I have seen people call you Brydie, so if that is you, I thank you Brydie for the care and concern you take in responding to everyone’s comments, mine included.

        What I generally do is save about 1/2 or 3/4 cup of my starter from making a batch of bread and then every day feed that with about 1/2 cup of flour and sufficient water to make a batter until I have about 2 cups. Then I put it in the fridge. Before making another batch of bread I get my starter out of the fridge, let it warm up to room temp and give it another 1/2 cup of flour and some warm water. If it is bubbling nicely by next day I make my bread: if not, I’ll give it another re-fresh and wait another day. I add the flour first and stir it in, then add water to bring it back to a batter consistency. I don’t want it to be too thick and bubble over my container, hence batter consistency. Adding the flour and water together I find makes it go lumpy and difficult to get smooth.

        The reason I do the blended doughs is that the acidity from the sourdough bacteria inhibits the gluten from forming, so by doing it separately I can get a good gluten development at least in half of my mixture. Perhaps I need to use a higher protein flour. Generally I use all-purpose flour which is a blend good enough for ‘normal’ bread and pastry. I also grind my own flour and use about 50% of that in my total mix. Maybe all white flour would better, but I like to have some wholemeal flour in there too.

        I intend to leave the autolyse period overnight next time (which is what I do for my regular bread anyway) and we’ll see what happens.

        With your help, maybe I’ll get there eventually.

        Thanks again, David


      • David try this… starter out of the fridge in the morning. Feed it. Evening divide it in half, half goes back in the fridge and the other half in a bowl and feed that one again. Next morning feed it again. Afternoon make up your dough like this post, over night nap in the fridge, and then out on the morning, back to room temp and then bake. I would usually refresh at least 3 times sometimes 4 within about 24ish hours to get it nice and strong before using. The flour does help as well- I think strong bakers flour is generally at 12.5% protein which is what I use.

        Also, when you are mixing the starter don’t worry about making it smooth, lumps are fine. It makes the starter work harder.

        (Remember, though I’m not a professional baker…this is just what works for me :-))


  14. Making sourdough it top of my list of things to try when I finish up work again in a week and am at home full time with the girls. Actually any kind of baking or cooking that’s not a made rush trying to get dinner on the table in ten minutes before the children turn into devils, would be good.


  15. Thanks again Brydie. I’ll give it a go and see what happens but your suggestion makes it such a long process that I doubt it will catch on as an every day bread – not with me anyway. I think you are right about using higher protein flour than the so-called all-purpose stuff. I have some and will use that next time. However I am not so sure about combining the production sourdough with more flour and yeast as the acidity might hinder gluten development. One thing I don’t understand is why do you suggest putting the dough in the fridge overnight as this will slow down the action of the yeast and lactic bacteria and defeat the purpose. I know French bakers put their dough in the fridge overnight for baguettes (I think) which adds something to the flavour, so maybe there is a reason I don’t yet know about. Have you ever tried this company – ( ) that sells a range of dried sourdough starters from around the world which are said to impart different flavours. To make it worth getting some of these starters one needs to share them with friends as otherwise you are going to have very expensive bread.

    I’ll let you know how I get on. Can you email me? I think you have my email address.



  16. Mmm! After reading your post just now, I’ve just to put down my laptop, jump out of bed and feed my starter! Your beautiful photos make me want to bake right now… but tomorrow will do. 🙂

    I’ve been making sourdough bread every week or two for about a year now. Mine smells like apple cider – I love it! For me, I had no success making my own starter from scratch, my bread never rose really well using it. But once I found someone to share some of their starter with me I was amazed by the difference!

    Initially I did lots of reading about techniques and now have a simple method very similar to yours (I don’t even knead for 6 mins though, more like 1 min usually!). Although there seems like a lot of steps when you first start out, very little hands-on work is required. I often mix the ingredients while I’m having brekky – then take the kids to school – come back and briefly knead – then get on with whatever I’m doing – fold occasionally when I remember, etc. If I have to go out I’ve even been known to take my bowl of dough with me so I can fold it every now and then! I find sourdough very forgiving!


  17. Hit here. Just a quick question, but what type of flour do you use? Normal plain flour or strong bread flour? Will be having another attempt at sourdough bread tomorrow, just fed my starter again. Thanks


      • Ok, fingers crossed!! Have put 2 loaves (in a makeshift banetton) in the fridge for its nap, ready to bake tomorrow. One thing (at this stage) my dough was still quite soft and sticky, does this mean I have not done enough “kneading/folding”?


      • Hard to tell for me Andrea, possibly…also could be a bit more liquid then I would use? Wetter doughs are fine to use it’s just they bug me, so I don’t tend to use them. As long as your bannetons are well lined with either cloth, paper or flour to stop the wet dough from sticking you’ll be fine.


  18. Hi Brydie, 3rd day of revitalising old starter, I had 1/3rd cup starter, and used 1/2 cup rye and 50ml water to start it off, yesterday 1/2 cup starter and 1/2 cup rye and 50ml water – its very thick but its raised a tad. Question please, how much starter do I use each time? I am using a cup measure for the rye (saves having to get the scales out each time) so today I will do 1/2 cup starter, 1/2 cup rye and 50ml water into clean bowl with muslin on top? and keep going for a few more days. Does that sound right? or should I be upping the starter to 1 cup/1cup/100ml as I get the volume? I also dont want to waste starter – I think you had a recipe for leftover starter but have to look. Joy


    • Hello Joy, I have been reading your trials with sourdough bricks and starter, and believe we are at a similar stage of our sourdough journey.

      I have ‘cheated’ on a couple of occasions and mixed up a batch of regular bread dough with regular yeast and after the first rising I have mixed it with my sourdough dough. It rose very well and made a very good loaf but it didn’t have a lot of sourdough flavour.

      After receiving all of Brydie’s enthusiastic and helpful advice to us all I decided to have another go. My starter seemed to be inert and when I tasted it, it was very acidic so I assumed the yeast had gone into dormancy. I took about ¼ cup of this non-working starter and added a full cup (or more – forgot to write it down!) of warm water and sufficient flour to make a batter. The next morning it was nice and bubbly, and obviously working well.

      At lunch time today I put 2 cups of this new lively starter in a bowl and added 3 cups of flour, 1 cup water + a little extra water to make a fairly soft dough. I just stirred it with a spoon so no kneading. By 9pm it had risen very considerably in the bowl and looked very healthy. I intend to put it in the fridge overnight (not quite sure why this stage is recommended) and make my bread tomorrow morning – blended with some regular yeasted dough. I’ll mix the regular yeasted dough and let it rise for the first time while my sourdough from the fridge is getting back to room temperature.

      The books always say to feed your starter every day and I assume they mean you keep adding to it so the quantity will go up every day too. I have also read that doing this causes the acidity to steadily rise, eventually to a point where the yeast can’t stand it any more and goes into dormancy. A better method I believe (also read in my book – and I think I mentioned it in a previous comment) is to save a small amount of your final sourdough dough to become the starter for the next batch. Feed this a couple of times to increase the amount and then put it in the fridge to await your next baking session when one or two little feeds will get it back working again. Anyway that is what I plan to do. Then I can use all my starter in my batch of bread.


      • Good Luck David. I am determined to get there with the starter and no yeast. I have instructions as below which I am going to follow. We are fortunate to have Brydie to guide us but I am wondering how long before I try her patience too much. Keep on keeping on. Joy


    • start with 100g of starter. 50g of flour to 50mls of water. Your starter now weighs 200g. Next feed is 100g of flour to 100mls of water, your starter now weighs 400g. 200g of flour and 200mls of water added to the 400g, it now weighs 800g. Keep 100-200g back (your mother) and bake with the rest that way there is no waste. (I NEVER waste any.) This is just one way of doing, like I’ve said before their are hundreds and hundreds of different methods, you just have to find one that works for you.


  19. Okey Dokey – 100g starter (equalled 1/2 cup), 50g flour and 50ml water – stiff starter. I think you have said somewhere above to feed every 12 hours so will feed again before bed. Question please? I have been using organic rye for starters – you mention Bakers Flour. I have this too which I use to make bread (Wallaby Bakers Flour). Which one should I go with? I used cold tap (tank) water, you dont mention whether it should be cold or warm (I dont think you have anyway). I leave it in a clean glass basin – does it matter whether its glass or plastic? I put a piece of muslin over – or a tea towel. Does it matter if it has muslin or plastic wrap on top? My starter always has a dried skin on top as its exposed to the air. I do appreciate your advice as I dont want to give up. Being retired I have plenty of time to play with it and get it right. It seems to be all about getting into the habit of making so eventually whatever works for me will become “simple”. (I already have the “simple” bit down pat 🙂 ) Joy


    • Joy don’t worry about the rye at this stage. Just use the bakers flour until you get into a rhythm, (rye is great when you are creating a starter from scratch or baking a rye loaf though.) Normal tap/tank water. I find glass, ceramic, or stainless steel is better for mixing than plastic. Saying that I’ve got nothing to back that theory up and plenty of people do use plastic. I do use an old plastic shopping bag for over the top to keep air out though (no skin.)


  20. Yay!!! Very happy English city girl! Baked my loaves – a round one and a baguette – and wow! Lovely crust and a soft, “holey” inside (or crumb in bakers terms). I think it helped that the dough was quite soft when I put it inthe oven and because my starter wasn’t that stiff I only put in 350g of water, otherwise I think it would have been impossible. Hope I can keep it up. Thanks for all your very helpful advice and tips, it’s true you have to find the started and bread recipe that works for you.


    • Thank you Andrea, I’m really happy that worked for you. Perfect with the water being held back, the ratio will always depend on the flour, starter, other ingredients you used. Generally I’ll pop in say 2/3rds-ish and then go slowly with the last say 1/3 to see what it needs, (and it’s always different.)
      Brilliant, now keep going 🙂


  21. This blog is great!!! Totally got me in the mood to bake up a delicious loaf of bread! Has anybody heard anything good about the starters from Sourdough’s International? A friend suggested one of their starters, I haven’t got the chance to try them out.


    • I have often thought about getting a couple of their starters but the cost seemed excessive what with post to Canada etc unless I could find a couple of people to share the costs. They would make an expensive loaf of bread, even though of course one could grow them ad infinitum. Do you want to share Rachel?


  22. Your sourdough loaves are beautifully formed. I always have a starter on hand and hate to throw any of it away, so I am constantly looking for new recipes. I even make cooffeecake and oatmeal bread with the starter.It adds so much flavor.


    • HI Jen, depends on where you are based. I’m in Australia and our cups are 150g of flour. Just doing a quick internet search and if you are in the US, your cups look to be about 136g of flour. Hope that helps.


      • very interesting! seems like a cup should be a cup 🙂
        and i am in the US….. so i guess ill do some searching
        but thanks for the head start!


  23. Hi Brydie
    Are you still reading new comments on this subject as if so I just want to let you know that I finally managed to make sourdough bread and it is delicious. I wish I could include some photos. Anyway many thanks for all your encouragement along the way.


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  28. Hi HippyCity, I’m baking my third sourdough today……..I’m so excited with my starter that I “started” in early September…..and it is so alive, I’m in love. I’ll post a pic of this lot if i can.

    You are so right……as long as it comes out “edible”‘ its a success.

    Now I want an outdoor woodfired oven……….dreaming of course.


      • Fake sourdough bread.

        I recently read that soaking flour for about 18 hours in an acid environment had a similar effect on the digestibility as sourdough bread. The recommendation was to use vinegar, which is acetic acid, and the same as is produced by the famous San Francisco sourdough bacteria (ex Wikipedia). So I tried it and it worked very well. A big advantage is that as an occasional sourdough bread maker I don’t have to maintain the starter. Below is what I did.

        At lunchtime on day one in a big bowl put:

        1½ cups white all-purpose flour
        1½ cups whole-wheat flour
        1 1/3 cups warm water
        2 Tbl apple cider vinegar
        ½ tsp salt

        and mix to a stiff dough.

        Cover tightly with plastic to stop it drying out and leave overnight in a warm place.

        In the morning (day two) add:

        1 tsp yeast

        and knead well. During the 18 – 24 hour soaking the dough becomes very soft and will probably need quite a bit more flour to get it to the usual consistency.

        Put the dough back in the bowl and allow to rise. Knock it down, shape the loaf and allow to rise a second time.

        Bake 15 mins at 220 deg C plus 30 mins at 190 deg.

        For some reason this made a very dark crust and I suspect the acid had converted some of the starch to sugar as it had the appearance of a bread with lots of sugar baked at a high temperature. The bread did taste quite sweet in spite of the fact that no sugar was added. Maybe better to reduce the baking temperature.

        Makes 1 large loaf.


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  31. Hi There!

    Firstly, thank you for your blog and recipes, this is the only sourdough recipe that has given me amazing results every time. A quick question though – how do you manage to get such great cuts in your dough? And when do you make them? I have experimented with cutting before they go in the fridge (generally a fail) and cutting just before they go in the oven (much better) however I don’t seem to have any consistency with depth. Sometimes I get a good deep cut that works, but other times once baked the cut just looks like once big stretch mark! How deep should I be cutting before they go in the oven?

    Thank you again, you are a sourdough legend in my house 🙂




    • Hi there Sourdough Fan Lou 🙂
      Ok, the slashes I do just before going into the oven. A fairly decent depth of cut is done, as the rising will find the path of least resistance…a big cut, will therefore hopefully give you a good lift. Depth, sheesh…err, try a 1.5cm slash? I’ll have a better look when I bake. Just play though, experiment with the same thing over and over. That’s the only way to really nail it.


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  33. Thank you for this recipe.
    I’ve fed my starter and will be giving it a go tomorrow.
    I’ve been trying to make spectacular sourdough for years. I make great starter which I share with lazy friends who then make spectacular loaves from it, while mine always look like deflated footballs and a really dense crumb. I’m hoping your overnight nap, rather than an all-in-one-day process, will make the difference for me.
    Do you have any advice for making a smaller amount? I’d like to bake a medium loaf, or just 1 large. There’s only 2 of us and we don’t get through a large loaf before it gets stale, so I’d like to make a loaf just big enough – instead of having a freezer stuffed full of sourdough breadcrumbs😉 I’ve tried making a smaller batch of other recipes, but clearly I’m not good at the maths required to reduce the quantities while keeping the balance. Actually, I’m just really not good at maths.😀


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